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Best Selling Video Games of 2017: Top Releases

04 Apr, 2024
Written by
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Best Selling Video Games of 2017: Top Releases

2017 was a landmark year in the world of video gaming, a period marked by the release of groundbreaking titles that pushed the boundaries of storytelling, innovation, and immersive gameplay. This article takes a closer look at the best-selling video games of 2017, highlighting the top releases that captured the hearts, minds, and imaginations of players around the globe. From the sprawling, post-apocalyptic landscapes of action RPGs to the adrenaline-pumping intensity of competitive shooters and the captivating charm of family-friendly adventures, 2017 offered something for every type of gamer. Join us as we revisit these top-tier games, exploring the unique features, compelling narratives, and technological advancements that made them stand out in a crowded and rapidly evolving industry.

How we calculate Our high-load parsers scrape the web and our marketing analysts process the data to provide up-to-date information for business.
Rank Game Genre Developer Publisher Platform Release Date
1 Honor of Kings / Arena of Valor MOBA TiMi Studio Group Tencent Android, iOS, iPadOS, Nintendo Switch March 8, 2023
2 League of Legends MOBA Riot Games Riot Games / Tencent Microsoft Windows, macOS October 27, 2009
3 Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO) Beat 'em up Neople Nexon / Tencent PC August 2005
4 Monster Strike Physics Mixi Mixi Android, iOS August 8, 2013
5 Crossfire FPS Smilegate Entertainment Smilegate / Tencent Microsoft Windows June 3, 2007
6 Fantasy Westward Journey MMORPG NetEase Games NetEase Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS December 2001
7 Clash Royale Strategy Supercell Supercell iOS, iPadOS, Android March 2, 2016
8 Clash of Clans Strategy Supercell Supercell iOS, iPadOS, Android August 2, 2012
9 Call of Duty: WWII First-person shooter Sledgehammer Games Activision PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One November 3, 2017
10 Fate/Grand Order (FGO) Role-playing, visual novel Delightworks (2015-2021), Lasengle (2021-present), Sega AM2 (Arcade) Aniplex Android, iOS, iPadOS, Arcade 30 July 2015

Best selling video games in 2017

The 2017th emerged as a defining year that showcased the dominant revenue-generating capabilities of key titles across various platforms, including mobile, PC, and consoles. Notably, Tencent, a global powerhouse in the gaming industry, claimed ownership or had publishing rights for six out of the ten top-performing games in terms of worldwide revenue. This revenue encompasses an array of financial streams such as physical sales, digital downloads, in-game purchases, as well as both free-to-play and pay-to-play models. 

  1. Honor of Kings
  • Revenue: $2,400,000,000
  • Publisher: Tencent
  • Genre: MOBA
  • Platform: Mobile
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

A Battle of Wits and Strategy

At the heart of “Honor of Kings / Arena of Valor” lies a battleground where strategy, skill, and teamwork converge. This MOBA giant, brought to life by Tencent, offers a symphony of chaotic battles and strategic planning, all tailored for the mobile experience.

Epic Narratives and Heroic Feats

With a roster of characters rich in lore and diversity, the game invites players into an epic saga where every hero plays a pivotal role. From valiant warriors to mystical sorcerers, each character offers a unique playstyle, beckoning players to master their abilities.

The Core of Gameplay: A Symphony of Chaos and Strategy

Engagement in “Honor of Kings” transcends mere combat; it’s about seizing objectives, outmaneuvering opponents, and making split-second decisions that could turn the tide of battle. It’s this intricate dance of strategy and action that ensnares the hearts of millions.

Climbing the Ranks: A Journey to Global Dominance

The ascent of “Honor of Kings” to the apex of gaming glory is a testament to its universal appeal and deeply engaging mechanics. Its rise is fueled by Tencent’s masterful blend of accessible gameplay and deep strategic layers, catering to both casual players and competitive spirits alike.

A Marketing Juggernaut

Tencent’s promotional strategies have been nothing short of revolutionary, tapping into vast social networks and leveraging celebrity endorsements to catapult the game into the global limelight. The game’s integration into the cultural zeitgeist, from esports tournaments to media crossovers, has solidified its status as a mobile MOBA phenomenon.

  1. League of Legends
  • Revenue: $2,100,000,000
  • Publisher: Riot Games / Tencent
  • Genre: MOBA
  • Platform: PC
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

The Quintessence of Competitive Gaming

“League of Legends” stands as a colossus in the PC gaming arena, offering a quintessential MOBA experience that has shaped the genre. With its intricate balance of champions and strategic depth, it has become a cornerstone of competitive gaming.

A Tapestry of Lore and Legend

Riot Games has crafted a universe teeming with lore, where every champion carries a story, and every battle feels like a chapter in a larger epic. This rich narrative backdrop adds layers of depth to the game, making each match more than just a contest of skill.

Strategic Mastery: The Core of LoL

The essence of “League of Legends” lies in its strategic gameplay, where coordination, timing, and tactical prowess can lead to awe-inspiring victories. The game’s ever-evolving meta and diverse champion pool ensure that no two matches are ever the same.

Ascension to Esports Supremacy

The monumental success of “League of Legends” can be attributed to its indelible impact on the esports scene. Riot Games has nurtured a vibrant competitive ecosystem, with the annual World Championship serving as a global spectacle that draws viewers from every corner of the planet.

Innovative Marketing Strategies

Riot Games’ approach to marketing “League of Legends” has been groundbreaking, employing a mix of community engagement, compelling storytelling, and high-production-value events. This holistic strategy has not only expanded its player base but has also fostered a passionate community that continues to grow.

  1. Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO)
  • Revenue: $1,900,000,000
  • Publisher: Nexon / Tencent
  • Genre: Beat ’em up
  • Platform: PC
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

Unleashing Chaos in Arcades Reimagined

“Dungeon Fighter Online” resurrects the spirit of classic arcade beat ’em ups, infusing it with modern RPG elements to create a uniquely enthralling experience. This blend of nostalgia and innovation is the cornerstone of its widespread appeal.

A Mosaic of Heroes and Villains

Set against a backdrop of a richly crafted world, DFO offers a diverse cast of characters, each with their own intricate backstories and distinct combat styles. This diversity allows players to find their own path and playstyle within the game’s expansive universe.

The Thrill of the Fight

At its core, DFO is about the visceral thrill of combat. Players dive into dungeons, facing off against hordes of enemies and formidable bosses, employing a combination of skill, strategy, and reflexes to emerge victorious.

A Cult Phenomenon

What sets DFO apart and cements its place in the top tier of gaming is its dedicated community. The game has fostered a cult following, with players deeply invested in both the gameplay and the evolving narrative of its world.

Strategic Promotions and Global Reach

Nexon and Tencent have masterfully expanded DFO’s reach through strategic collaborations and continuous content updates, ensuring the game remains fresh and engaging for both new and veteran players.

  1. Monster Strike: The Physics-Based Phenomenon
  • Revenue: $1,641,000,000
  • Publisher: Mixi
  • Genre: Physics
  • Platform: Mobile

A Sling-Shot Adventure

“Monster Strike” combines physics-based gameplay with collectible monster mechanics, offering a unique and engaging experience. Players sling their monsters across the battlefield, bouncing off walls and enemies alike in strategic and visually satisfying combat.

Collect, Evolve, Conquer

The core loop of collecting and evolving monsters adds depth and personalization to the game. Players are drawn into the world of Monster Strike, seeking to uncover and enhance their favorite creatures.

Community and Collaboration

Mixi has leveraged the power of community, encouraging players to team up with friends for co-op battles. This social aspect not only enhances gameplay but also fosters a strong, engaged player base.

Marketing Magic

Through a mix of captivating advertisements, collaborative events, and community-driven content, “Monster Strike” has maintained its position as a mobile gaming juggernaut in a highly competitive market.

  1. Crossfire
  • Revenue: $1,605,000,000
  • Publisher: Smilegate / Tencent
  • Genre: FPS
  • Platform: PC / Mobile
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

Bridging Worlds with Bullets

“Crossfire” stands as a testament to the universal appeal of the FPS genre, offering fast-paced, tactical gameplay that transcends cultural and geographic boundaries. Its accessibility and competitive edge draw players from all over the globe.

The Arsenal of Engagement

With a vast arsenal and diverse game modes, “Crossfire” keeps the gameplay fresh and engaging. Players are constantly challenged to adapt and hone their skills, whether in team-based skirmishes or high-stakes solo encounters.

The Esports Arena

Smilegate, in partnership with Tencent, has propelled “Crossfire” into the esports limelight, hosting international tournaments that showcase the game’s competitive potential and unite its global community.

Strategic Alliances and Media Expansions

Through strategic partnerships and branching into other media, including a planned movie adaptation, “Crossfire” continues to expand its reach and influence in the gaming and entertainment sectors.

  1. Fantasy Westward Journey
  • Revenue: $1,500,000,000
  • Publisher: NetEase
  • Genre: MMORPG
  • Platform: Mobile
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

Embarking on an Epic Quest

“Fantasy Westward Journey” is an immersive MMORPG that transports players into a fantastical version of ancient China, inspired by the classic novel “Journey to the West.” The game’s rich narrative and vast world offer an enchanting escape, filled with myths, legends, and dynamic quests.

A Tapestry of Legends

Players dive into a lore-rich universe, where each character, quest, and location weaves into the grand tapestry of this digital epic. The game’s storytelling depth and character customization options allow players to craft their unique legend within this vibrant world.

Strategic Depth in a Mystical Realm

The game shines with its strategic combat system and cooperative gameplay. Players must carefully select their companions and strategies to tackle challenging dungeons and formidable bosses, making teamwork and tactical planning paramount to their journey.

The Road to Reverence

“Fantasy Westward Journey” has captivated a massive following due to its deep engagement with Chinese culture and folklore, combined with engaging gameplay mechanics. NetEase has successfully tapped into a vein of cultural pride and nostalgia, making the game a staple in the MMORPG genre.

Cultivating Community and Culture

NetEase’s marketing genius lies in its ability to integrate the game into the fabric of daily life through cultural festivals, expansive online communities, and high-profile collaborations. These strategies have not only expanded the game’s reach but have also fostered a devoted player base that grows with each passing year.

  1. Clash Royale
  • Revenue: $1,200,000,000
  • Publisher: Supercell (Tencent)
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

A Duel of Wits and Strategy

“Clash Royale” combines elements of collectible card games, tower defense, and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) to create a fast-paced, strategic showdown. Players collect and upgrade cards featuring Clash of Clans troops, spells, and defenses to defeat opponents in real-time duels.

Building Your Deck: The Art of War

The core of “Clash Royale’s” gameplay lies in deck building and strategy. Players must craft a balanced deck and employ clever tactics to outmaneuver their opponents, making each match a thrilling test of foresight and adaptability.

The Arena Awaits: Climbing the Ranks

The game’s ladder system and frequent tournaments offer a competitive playground for players to showcase their skills and climb the ranks. This competitive edge, combined with the game’s accessibility, has cemented “Clash Royale” as a favorite among casual and hardcore gamers alike.

King of the Mobile Realm

“Clash Royale’s” success can be attributed to its perfect blend of quick, satisfying gameplay loops and deep strategic layers. Supercell’s continuous updates, featuring new cards and balance changes, keep the meta fresh and the community engaged.

A Masterclass in Mobile Marketing

Supercell’s approach to marketing “Clash Royale” has been multifaceted, focusing on engaging commercials, influential partnerships, and a strong presence in the esports scene. This strategic promotion, coupled with the game’s inherent virality, has propelled “Clash Royale” to the forefront of mobile gaming.

  1. Clash of Clans
  • Revenue: $1,200,000,000
  • Publisher: Supercell (Tencent)
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

Building an Empire from the Ground Up

“Clash of Clans” is a strategy game that has taken the world by storm, allowing players to build their village, raise a clan, and compete in epic Clan Wars. Its addictive blend of strategic planning, base building, and competitive multiplayer has solidified its place in the annals of mobile gaming legends.

A Community of Clans

At its core, “Clash of Clans” is about community building. Players join forces to create clans, forge alliances, and take on enemies together, making teamwork and social interaction key components of the gameplay experience.

Strategize, Mobilize, and Conquer

The game challenges players to think tactically, from base layout to troop deployment. The depth of strategy involved in both offense and defense contributes to a dynamic and ever-evolving gameplay experience that keeps players engaged for years.

The Siege of Success

The monumental success of “Clash of Clans” can be attributed to its accessibility, depth of gameplay, and the vibrant community it fosters. Supercell’s continuous updates and the introduction of new features and content have kept the game fresh and exciting, driving its sustained popularity.

A Blueprint for Mobile Game Marketing

Supercell has mastered the art of mobile game marketing, utilizing engaging advertisements, community events, and social media to maintain high visibility and player engagement. Their approach has made “Clash of Clans” not just a game, but a cultural phenomenon.

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  • Revenue: $1,000,000,000
  • Publisher: Activision (Activision Blizzard)
  • Genre: FPS
  • Platform: Multi-platform
  • Business Model: Buy-to-play

Reliving History: The WWII Experience

“Call of Duty: WWII” marks a return to the series’ roots, offering an immersive experience in the European theater of World War II. The game’s campaign, multiplayer, and co-operative modes deliver an intense and authentic portrayal of one of history’s most monumental wars.

A Campaign of Valor and Sacrifice

The single-player campaign tells a gripping tale of brotherhood and heroism, following the 1st Infantry Division as they battle across Europe. The narrative-driven experience is both a homage to the bravery of soldiers and an exploration of the harrowing realities of war.

Multiplayer Mayhem: Tactics and Teamwork

The multiplayer mode reinvents the classic “Call of Duty” formula, introducing new modes, maps, and a return to “boots-on-the-ground” gameplay. The emphasis on tactical gameplay, objective-based modes, and squad mechanics has revitalized the community and competitive scene.

Storming the Front: The Impact of CoD: WWII

The game’s success stems from its authentic portrayal of WWII, combined with engaging gameplay and a return to the series’ core mechanics. Activision’s commitment to historical accuracy and immersive storytelling has resonated with both long-time fans and newcomers.

A Strategic Marketing Salvo

Activision’s marketing campaign for “Call of Duty: WWII” was a multi-faceted operation, utilizing cinematic trailers, influencer partnerships, and community events to generate buzz and anticipation. Their efforts paid off, culminating in a launch that reinvigorated the franchise and brought players flocking to the front lines.

  1. Fate/Grand Order (FGO)
  • Revenue: $982,000,000
  • Publisher: Aniplex (Sony Music Entertainment Japan)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Platform: Mobile
  • Business Model: Free-to-play

Embarking on a Mythical Quest

“Fate/Grand Order” is a narrative-driven mobile RPG that has captivated a global audience with its intricate storylines, complex characters, and expansive universe. Based on the popular “Fate” series, FGO offers players a chance to become magi and embark on a time-traveling journey to save humanity.

A Tapestry of Heroes and Legends

At the heart of FGO’s appeal is its extensive roster of Servants – heroes from various myths, legends, and historical periods. Each Servant comes with a unique backstory, skill set, and Noble Phantasm, allowing players to dive deep into lore and strategy as they build their ideal teams.

The Art of Battle: Strategy and Summoning

Combat in FGO is a blend of strategic planning and RNG, with turn-based battles that require thoughtful team composition and resource management. The gacha system adds an element of chance to summoning new Servants, creating a thrilling (and sometimes heart-wrenching) experience for players.

A Chronicle of Success: Why FGO Reigns

FGO’s success can be attributed to its loyal fan base, rich storytelling, and the depth of its game mechanics. Aniplex has continually expanded the game’s narrative and universe through regular events, collaborations, and story arcs, keeping the community engaged and eager for more.

Casting a Spell on the Market

Aniplex’s marketing strategy for FGO has been as multifaceted as the game itself, utilizing a mix of anime adaptations, manga, merchandise, and fan events to create a sprawling ecosystem around the game. This cross-media approach has not only attracted fans from various demographics but has also entrenched FGO as a major player in both the gaming and anime industries.

Top 5 PC VR Games in 2017 by revenue

  • 1. Superhot VR
    • Developer: SUPERHOT Team
    • Revenue: $2.56 million

In “Superhot VR,” time moves only when the player moves, transforming traditional first-person shooter gameplay into a blend of strategy and action. Players must navigate through a minimalist environment, tactically taking out enemies with an array of weapons. The game’s unique mechanic forces players to think about their every move, turning each level into a deadly puzzle where precision and strategy are key. This VR adaptation adds a physical dimension to the gameplay, requiring players to physically dodge bullets and take down enemies in slow motion.

  • 2. Arizona Sunshine
    • Developer: Vertigo Games and Jaywalkers Interactive
    • Revenue: $2.40 million

Set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies, “Arizona Sunshine” is a VR shooter that immerses players in a fight for survival. The game features a campaign mode where players explore desolate landscapes in search of fellow survivors and resources. With realistic weapon handling and the need to scavenge for ammunition and supplies, “Arizona Sunshine” offers an engaging and immersive VR experience that combines elements of horror, exploration, and action.

  • 3. Job Simulator
    • Developer: Owlchemy Labs
    • Revenue: $2.36 million

“Job Simulator” offers a humorous take on the not-so-distant future where robots have replaced all human jobs. Players can immerse themselves in job simulations of a gourmet chef, office worker, convenience store clerk, and more. The game is known for its interactive environments and physics-driven gameplay, allowing players to experiment and play with a wide range of objects in each job setting. It’s a sandbox game at heart, encouraging creativity and offering countless ways to complete job tasks or simply cause mayhem.

  • 4. Raw Data
    • Developer: Survios
    • Revenue: $2.24 million

“Raw Data” is a VR first-person shooter that offers intense co-op action and narrative-driven missions. Set in a dystopian future, players must infiltrate the headquarters of Eden Corp to expose its sinister secrets. The game features multiple playable characters, each with unique weapons and abilities, adding depth to its combat system. “Raw Data” is celebrated for its polished graphics, engaging gameplay, and the sense of presence players feel while battling robots and drones in a high-tech environment.

  • 5. Tilt Brush
    • Developer: Google
    • Revenue: $1.85 million

“Tilt Brush” is a VR application that lets players paint in three-dimensional space, offering an entirely new medium for creativity. With a variety of brushes and tools, artists can create stunning 3D artworks and environments. The application supports a range of effects and materials, allowing for dynamic creations that can glow, move, and even emit sound. “Tilt Brush” has been used by artists, designers, and educators to explore the potential of VR as a creative and expressive tool, transforming the way we think about art and space.

Top 5 Console VR games in 2017 by revenue

  • 1. Skyrim VR
    • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
    • Revenue: $2.14 million

“Skyrim VR” brings the epic fantasy world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to life in virtual reality. Players step into the shoes of the Dragonborn, a prophesied hero tasked with saving the world from an ancient dragon poised to destroy it. In this immersive VR adaptation, players can explore the vast open world of Skyrim, engage in combat, cast spells, and interact with characters in a more intimate and engaging way. The VR experience adds new depth to dungeon crawling and combat, allowing players to physically swing weapons, block with shields, and cast spells by hand gestures.

  • 2. Job Simulator
    • Developer: Owlchemy Labs
    • Revenue: $1.55 million

In this humorous VR game, players experience satirical job simulations in a world where robots have taken over all human employment. From gourmet chef to office worker, the game offers exaggerated and comedic versions of everyday jobs with a focus on interaction and experimentation. The VR environment allows players to manipulate objects and complete tasks in fun and often ridiculous ways, providing a sandbox experience that encourages creativity and playful exploration.

  • 3. Superhot VR 
    • Developer: SUPERHOT Team
    • Revenue: $1.06 million

“Superhot VR” is a unique first-person shooter where time moves only when the player moves, blending elements of strategy with action. The game’s minimalist art style and innovative gameplay mechanics require players to carefully plan their moves in order to dodge bullets and take out enemies. The VR adaptation enhances the experience by allowing players to physically dodge attacks and aim in a 3D space, making for a highly engaging and physically interactive experience.

  • 4. Batman: Arkham VR
    • Developer: Warner Bros
    • Revenue: $977,090

“Batman: Arkham VR” immerses players in the role of the Dark Knight, exploring Gotham City and investigating a complex mystery from Batman’s perspective. The game leverages VR to offer a deeply personal Batman experience, allowing players to don the cowl, use gadgets, and unravel the plot through detective work and interaction with iconic characters. The VR experience adds a new dimension to the Batman universe, providing a sense of presence and immersion that brings the character and his world to life in a novel way.

  • 5. I Expect You To Die
    • Developer: Schell Games
    • Revenue: $762,880

“I Expect You To Die” is a VR puzzle game that casts players as elite secret agents tasked with escaping from deadly situations and thwarting nefarious plots. Each level presents a unique, self-contained escape room-style challenge that requires players to use their wits, spy gadgets, and the environment to survive. The game’s humorous tone, combined with inventive puzzles and interactive VR elements, makes for a thrilling and engaging experience that plays out like a series of action-packed spy movie scenarios.

The year 2017 was indeed a milestone in the annals of video gaming, showcasing an unprecedented fusion of creativity, technology, and storytelling. From the strategic depths of “Honor of Kings” and “League of Legends” to the immersive realms of “Skyrim VR” and the narrative intricacies of “Fate/Grand Order,” these titles not only dominated the revenue charts but also expanded the horizons of what video games can offer. As we reflect on these top releases, it’s clear that their success lies not just in their ability to entertain, but also in their power to connect with players on a deeper level, offering experiences that are as diverse as they are profound. The legacy of 2017’s best-selling games continues to influence the industry, setting new benchmarks for innovation and engagement that inspire future generations of game developers.


1. What made Tencent games so dominant in 2017?

Tencent's dominance in 2017 can be attributed to its strategic partnerships, innovative game mechanics, and a deep understanding of market trends. Their games, like "Honor of Kings," offered compelling gameplay tailored for mobile platforms, tapping into vast user bases and leveraging social integration to enhance player engagement.

2. How did VR games fare in terms of revenue in 2017?

VR games like "Skyrim VR" and "Superhot VR" made significant strides in 2017, proving that immersive VR experiences could also be commercially successful. By offering players novel, immersive ways to interact with game worlds, these titles helped push VR gaming closer to mainstream acceptance.

3. What factors contributed to the success of "Fate/Grand Order"?

The success of "Fate/Grand Order" can be attributed to its rich narrative, character-driven gameplay, and the robust community surrounding the "Fate" franchise. The game's strategic depth, combined with the popular gacha system, created a compelling loop that kept players engaged and willing to invest in the game.

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